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Man dies after falling from a horse-drawn wagon and striking a tree.

Minnesota Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 93MN005, 1993 Aug; :1-4
A 36-year-old male laborer (victim) died of injuries he received after falling from a run-away horse-drawn wagon and striking a tree. He was driving the wagon through a wooded area collecting maple sap from five sap-collecting workers for syrup processing. He was hauling a large oval 250-gallon tank in a wooden wagon with four rubber tires. He stood on the wagon, behind the tank, during travel. The wagon, approximately 3 x 8 feet long and 3 feet high, was pulled by a 5-year-old, 2,200 pound Belgian-mix gelding. Horses were used for hauling in the area to minimize disruption to the trees' root systems. The five sap collectors were not prepared to empty maple sap into the tank when the wagon passed by the first time. The driver proceeded to a small clearing in the woods and began turning the wagon sharply to travel past the collectors again. As the wagon was turning the horse bolted and ran. The wagon hit a tree and the driver was thrown from it. He hit an adjacent tree and sustained abdominal and chest injuries; he died two days later in a hospital. The ground was still frozen at the time of the incident. The noise created by the wagon as it travelled over frozen ground and/or seeing the large tank behind him as he turned sharply may have frightened the horse. MN FACE investigators concluded that, in order to prevent similar occurrences, the following guidelines should by followed: 1. drive horses from ground level, or simply lead them, when maneuvering loads in close quarters.
Region-5; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Work-operations; Work-analysis; Work-areas; Work-performance; Work-practices; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Protective-measures; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-processes; Farmers
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-93MN005; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-507283
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Minnesota Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division